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 Post subject: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Posts: 1075
Location: San Jose
Hi all, so here's my latest crazy creation. I wanted something that bordered on insanely high powered, so I got an Asus Z9 PE-D8 WS motherboard, which is one of the latest dual E5 Xeon motherboards. I got a pair of E5-2687W Xeon processors, 3.1GHz base clock at TDP of 150W, 8 cores, 16 threads. Now it's a tricky motherboard, because it's extra long, 12" by 13", so it won't fit in a normal case. Luckily, it fit in my big brass case (http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=59803&hilit=brass), although I lost one feature. When I made the big brass case, I pulled the motherboard tray from an old coolermaster stacker case, so it was fairly big. I was surprised to find that there were mounting holes at the bottom that fit, and the ones at the top fit, but the middle row didn't fit. For those, I used some plastic motherboard mounts that seem to be about the right length to keep the board fairly flat. I did lose one feature, there was a big vent near the bottom of the tray, and I used that for routing some cables to the power supply and hard drives on the back of the motherboard. I have some space around the sides to route them, but it's a little messy at the moment. I've been able to do some overclocking by running the BCLK up to 103 MHz, but I'm still optimizing things, so I haven't put the case back on yet. In terms of cooling, I started with a pair of prolimatech megahalems, but then I did some measuring and decided that noctua nh-d14s would fit. It was a little tight, but it worked! And it got the cpu temps down from the 70s to the 60s! Anyway, time for pics!

Attachment:
brass-dual-1.jpg

View above the motherboard. The fans may seem a little extreme, but they all seem to be important, I've tried removing them, and temps go up.

Attachment:
brass-dual-2.jpg

One great thing about the motherboard is the large number of sata ports. I'm still using an add-in card because I've got a few more drives to add, but I used to have two cards.

Attachment:
brass-dual-3.jpg

One tricky part of the dual socket setup is the need for dual cpu power connectors. It's easy enough to get an adapter, but I've had some trouble with a few. The psu is an Antec signature 850, so it seems pretty stable, but the total system draw is 575W from the wall, according to a kill-a-watt.

And I'll try to add some system monitor info too. :)


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 Post subject: Re: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Posts: 1075
Location: San Jose
OK, here's some internal performance info. First off, here's what it looks like when it's folding:

Attachment:
sysmon-2.png


And here's the disk summary:

Attachment:
sysmon3.png


And some system temps:

Attachment:
psensor1.png


I'm really happy with those, pretty much under 70C at full load, while overclocked. :D :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:58 am
Posts: 144
Location: Poland
Looks like an expensive way to start a fire :)
What do you need so much computing power for? Is it quiet anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:29 pm 
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I use it for folding at home, it does a lot of math for the power it consumes. It is fairly quiet, although once I get the case put back together it should be much quieter. I'm currently hearing a little coil whine, but the case has heavy panels with insulation, and it usually cuts that pretty well.


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 Post subject: Re: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:19 pm 
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+1 for the fans (cardboard ?) holder :)
+1 for cable management :)

what are you going to use for the sides ?

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 Post subject: Re: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Location: UK
cordis wrote:
Now it's a tricky motherboard, because it's extra long, 12" by 13", so it won't fit in a normal case.

There are lots of E-ATX cases available that would suit this. Is it an active decision that you want to build a case yourself? An E-ATX case won't cost a huge amount more than a high quality ATX case. In terms of silence there is the Antec P193 which is like a bigger P180. Silverstone also make lots of E-ATX cases including the monstrous RV-01:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/silverstone-raven

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 Post subject: Re: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:46 am 
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cordis wrote:
I use it for folding at home

Isn't it a better to go the multi-GPU route for things like this?

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 Post subject: Re: A quiet dual xeon system
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Not anymore. Points systems change once in a while and shift the balance from GPU to CPU or vice versa. With today's multicore CPUs at high frequencies, the processing power is large compared to what a GPU can do. If the drivers change and/or the folding engine change and/or GPU technology changes, the balance will shift and il will be worth more points to fold on a GPU.
Ad : Come join the fold if you want :)

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Main/gamming : Antec Solo|X-650|Asus P5Q-E|Intel Q9550@3.4GHz|HR-01 Plus 120mm Nexus @6V|Corsair 2x2Go XMS2 DHX cas 4 @4-4-4-12|Exhaust Nexus 120mm @9V|Intel X25M G2 160Gb|Samsung 1TB in SQD|2xGigabyte GTS450 OC (@900/1900/3800)|GPU fan 120mm Nexus @6V
HTPC/folder/Storage : Silverstone|E5300 with Samurai-Z|2Go RAM|GTX460@800|2x1To WD EARS|Intel X25M G2 80Go

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